An advanced Russian multi-role fighter plane crashed in Syria on Thursday after take-off, killing both members of its crew, the Russian military was cited as saying by Russian news agencies.

Smoke rises from Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria May 2, 2018.
Smoke rises from Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria May 2, 2018. (Reuters)

A Russian fighter jet crashed on Thursday off the coast of Syria, killing both pilots, according to Russia's defence ministry, which said the plane did not come under fire and that the crash may have been caused by a bird getting sucked into one of the engines.

Russia's news agency Tass cited the ministry as saying the Su-30 crashed shortly after takeoff from the Russian air base at Hmeymim in Syria. Russia has been waging an air campaign in support of Bashar al Assad's regime forces since 2015.

In March, a Russian military cargo plane crashed as it was descending to land at Hmeymim, killing all 39 people onboard. The military blamed the crash on a technical error and insisted the plane was not shot down.

Russia leases the Hmeymim military base in Syria, near the Mediterranean coast.

Elsewhere in Syria, a worker with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and another individual were killed in a car bomb attack outside an IRC centre used to help displaced Syrians in the northwestern town of Dana, in rebel-held Idlib, the international organisation said.

In Damascus, Syrian regime forces captured more areas from Daesh on the southern edge of the capital on Thursday, cutting the region held by the extremists into two parts.

Regime-affiliated media said troops cut off Daesh militants based in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk from those in the Hajar al Aswad neighbourhood to the south.

Yarmouk, a built-up residential area, and Hajar al Aswad are the last two areas outside regime control in Damascus.

Syrian regime forces began a major offensive two weeks ago to retake the area under the cover of air strikes. The fighting led to the displacement of thousands of Palestinian refugees and others to neighbouring areas.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that since the regime offensive began on April 19, 112 regime forces and pro-regime fighters as well as 91 Daesh militants have been killed. Dozens of civilians have been killed as well in the fighting, according to the war monitor.

Near Hajar al Aswad, preparations were underway to evacuate thousands of opposition fighters and civilians from three southern suburbs following a deal reached last week to hand over the area to regime forces.

Regime-owned TV said buses started entering the southern suburbs of Babila, Beit Sahem and Yalda to evacuate some 5,000 fighters and their families, while those who decide to stay are eligible for amnesty.

The Observatory said some of the fighters and civilians will be heading to the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib and the town of Afrin, which is controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters. Others will head to rebel-held areas in the southern province of Daraa, which borders Jordan.